COMPTON — New City Manager Harold Duffey strongly denied assertions and rumors that the City of Compton was on the brink of bankruptcy at a hastily organized press conference this morning at City Hall.
Saying he was paraphrasing Mark Twain, Duffey said that "rumors of the City of Compton's financial death have been greatly exaggerated."
Despite earlier reports that Compton may have to consider bankruptcy by as early as September, Duffey said that wasn't the case and the city would not even meet the criteria to apply for bankruptcy.
In fact, Duffey said the city was projected to have the revenues it needs to meet its annual obligations and that revenue currently exceeded expenses.
The city manager said he was hoping to ask the City Council to support having a forensic audit done on the city's finances at tonight's council meeting. An audit would help address accusations of corruption and financial misconduct in the city. Not having such an audit could greatly hamper the city's ability to borrow money and issue bonds, he said.
Duffey's rosy forecast did little to encourage the dozen or so residents who went to the meeting. Most said they had heard the same stories repeatedly over the years in the seemingly perennially cash-strapped city.
Patricia Simpson said she believed city officials were lying to the public.
"(Duffey's) just going to say what (other city officials) want him to say," Simpson said. "We're not going to take this anymore. We've had enough."